Saturday, December 31, 2011

December Purchases

I maybe had a little too much free time in December. Free time to spend at Goodwill, Target, and a little on-line Macy’s shopping!


When Beefy and I planned our agenda for our annual winter-time Michigan trip, I made sure that a trip to the Benton Harbor Goodwill was included.

1. Borgazia faux fur coat, $19.99. I always have trouble paying more than $10 an item at the thrift store. However, this coat is in mint condition and so so warm.

2. Wet Seal tunic, $6.99. Although Wet Seal clothing tends to be “disposable,” this tunic is in good condition. And I’m always looking for something longer than a shirt but shorter than a dress to pair with leggings and skinny jeans.

3. Liz Sport animal print button-front shirt, $3.99. If I wear this half as much as I’ve worn my thrifted silk leopard button-front, I’ll have that CPW down to pennies in no time.

4. Eddie Bauer pastel geometric print button-front shirt, $3.99. I’m a little obsessed with flannel and pastels, right now. This shirt has them both! Sadly, the first time I wore it, we had our ducts cleaned and I wrestled a terrified kitten. He managed to tear two holes in the front of the shirt. I’ve sewn them shut, but the rents are still obvious. I won’t give up on it, though, and will find creative ways to layer.

5. Belt, $1.99

6. Necklace, $2.99. I purchased this with the intent of treating it with neon spraypaint. It was cream and brown. Now it’s bright green and orange.

Later in the month, Reva and I took a break from holiday madness at the Cheviot Goodwill.

7. Style & Co shorty western boots, $12.99. Reva persuaded me to try them on and then assured me that they did not give me cankles.

8. Bolivian handbag, $6.00. Yum! Red suede. Embossed leather. Ethnic trim.

9. H&M faux leather jacket, $6.99. A good fake.

10. BSB jeans paisley blazer, $3.49. Delightfully obnoxious.

11. Ann Taylor suede skirt, $2.00. This skirt is just beautifully made. It has a nice drape and weight. The length is perfect.

12. B Moss green corduroy skirt, $2.00. I’m not sure if the bulky corduroy is flattering, but I like the length and color, so I’m going to try styling it a few ways before I call it quits.

13. Arizona denim shorts, $1.64. I love the high waist. It makes the short inseam feel less scandalous.


I’ve been stalking this sweater since November. It went on sale. I bit.

14. Mossimo gray and mustard striped sweater, $12.58


I had $50 of gift card money left from my birthday. I used it during Macy’s Friends and Family sale.

15. Dr Scholl’s Ali booties. Ugly-cute or ugly-ugly? $74.25 - $50 = $24.25

December total: $111.88

Total spending for the year: $1540.30

I didn’t quite make it under $1500 for the year (or my $1200 budget), but I got a ton of stuff to show for my pennies!

Stay at Home

I spent New Year’s Eve at home, this year. Beefy had to work, so we had breakfast for dinner before he left for his shift. Then, my buddy, Colette, and I spent the evening watching quirky movies, drinking gin, and eating chocolate.

Dress, Jovovich Hawk for Target. Leggings, Danskin. Necklace, Serket Jewelry. Belt, thrifted. Booties, Dr. Scholl’s. Rings, vintage.

Of course, when it was really time to get comfy, I lost the accessories and donned my new slippers (a gift from Beefy). Happy New Year!

Beefy's 2011 Photo Picks

by Beefy Muchacho

Kasmira asked me to put together a list of my favorite photos I took of her for her blog this year. I love taking her blog photos. It’s fun to brainstorm with her to come up with locations, and it’s a great way to spend a little extra time together during busy times with work and rehearsals and meetings and whatever else.

Once the session is over, I rarely see the pictures again until they appear on the blog. She retains final say over which ones she picks, and often makes slight adjustments to the photos in terms of crop and angle. (Apparently I lilt 2 degrees or so to the right).

Anyway, here are my 13 favorite “Muchacho photographed photos” of 2011, and a little bit of my thoughts on each. I love being an occasional part of her blog, and it’s so fun to read the comments left by all of you. Happy New Year


So many of the best pictures from the year also feature great locations. This one was taken at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. Kasmira always reminds me that the blog is about what she’s wearing, and you know.. I know that, but I also love interesting backdrops. The way the pavement here almost reflects the sky, and the little peeks of blue sky over the plane wings creates a really neat effect here. I also am really happy with how the wings overhead create a pseudo-frame. That was a total accident. Oh yeah… and look how freaking red her hair looks in front of the bright background. Awesome.

There’s always a very specific order of events when we take pictures. First we decide where she’ll stand and where I’ll be, then we take a whole crapload of full-body “Outfit” shots. After that, we work on the “Deets”, where she gets up close, and I take close-ups of the different pattern combinations or interesting accessories. Deets are my favorite part for a secret reason… Stealth Portraits! You’d never believe this, but Kasmira is basically very shy, and she’d never sit for real portraits, but I love to sneak a few close-ups while I’m technically getting pictures of her earrings. This one was taken at my uncle’s home in Three Oaks, Michigan, at his labyrinth. It’s a really beautiful setting, at the light was nice and bright, but still soft. It made for a really cool quirky portrait.


I chose this one for the face. See… at the start of a session, I have to do a little fiddling with the camera settings to make sure the light is right and whatnot. A lot of times, I’ll take random pictures and she makes these faces to see if I’m paying attention (I was). I was so pleased when she included this one in the final cut on the blog, because her silly side doesn’t get its due all that often, and it’s one of my favorite things about her.


Oh man… So there’s nothing like a good location photo, and what better location than my literal favorite place on Earth? There are a ton of great things about his picture (and the whole set from this day). I really like washed out effect on Spaceship Earth (the big golfball thing), and all of the beautiful colors of Disney World. Vacation outfits are one of Kasmira’s special skills, and this one was my favorite from our recent trip to Disney. I toyed with using the other one from this post where she was taking a bite out of Spaceship Earth, but in the end the mix of bright colors, interesting pose, and depth of field in this picture won out. You’ll also note that I was putting my own freedom in jeopardy by trespassing in a roped off area to take this picture. That’s the kind of guy I am.


This one is on the short list of my favorite photos of Kasmira I’ve ever taken. The premise was one of those “Deets” pictures to show off her turquoise ensemble, but look at the stealth portrait I managed to take. I’ll be honest and say that a lot of times, the composition on a photo is at least a little bit of a happy accident when it comes out nicely, but this one was totally intentional. I’d taken a few photos of just her hands, but then I looked up and saw the halo effect with the grass , so I had her pose this way. There’s a similar photo she took last year, where all the snow behind her makes her eyes bright like this. I love it.


Sometimes a photo stands out for me because of the experience as much as the actual photo. This one was taken at the former site of the Jewish Community Center in Cincinnati. I spent many Summers as a kid playing on these tennis courts, and so it was pretty surreal (and really sad) to see how overgrown the whole place has become since it was abandoned when the JCC moved to another location. It’s special when the experience combines with an actually cool photo, which is what happened here. There’s just something about how the greens of the court, the weeds, the trees, and her dress combined to create this sort of wild feel to the whole set. She wants to go back to the old place again, because there are a few really good locations there. Maybe we’ll see more of these next Summer.


What can you say about New York City? This is possibly the most iconic location we’ve ever taken outfit pictures. It’s hard to get bigger than the NYC skyline. I love the blown-out aspect of this picture, with the dress (my single favorite item of her clothing) and the pink scarf just blazing away, and the super-bright dock and the blues of the East River. This was a really great, and memorable day, and I love that the pictures underscore that, by being really cool.


Union Terminal in Cincinnati is the most famous building in the city, and it started making regular appearances on the blog this Summer, after we attended a wedding there in June. Of all of the Union Terminal posts, this one is my favorite. The colors of Kasmira’s outfit go perfectly with the blue patina of the huge fountain and the green shrubbery. I admit, too, that I tend to be a fan of the more classic looks in Kasmira’s wardrobe, and this one could potentially have fit in just as well in the 1930s when U.T. was in its heyday as it does now. Also, I can most reliably count on a photo NOT being cropped if that building is in the background. Even Kasmira can’t resist.


You may note that a pretty consistent feature of my favorite photos is direct sunlight, and I think this picture from the 1 year anniversary of Kasmira going back to her red hair perfectly illustrates why (and also why I will always, and forever, be a fan of the red over the blonde). Obviously, I think Kasmira would be beautiful with any hair color or style, but the red hair in the direct sunlight is so striking, and so amazing to photograph. I’m a great fan of the blues, purples, and greens in her wardrobe, and all of them look so unique and outstanding with the red hair blazing in the Sun. Am I right?


This one is another of those where the experience makes up half the story. The start of 2011 in Cincinnati was the wettest on record. It snowed and snowed and then it rained. It was almost constant for the first 4 months, so finding reasonable photo locations was challenging. We happened upon Mt. Echo Park at some point in the early stages of the year, and ended up using it several times throughout the Spring. There’s this open air shelter with these great bit granite pillars and this shiny concrete floor. It made for a relatively dry place to take outfit photos during the rainy days of March and April, and really provided a cool location for various visuals. For example, if it hadn’t been pouring rain, and the background hadn’t been washed out, you’d be able to see an incredible view of downtown Cincinnati. As it was, I love how the wet ground created this mirror effect for this set. I can’t say it was warm and comfortable at Mt. Echo this Spring, but it wasn’t raining on me, and for that I was grateful. (and able to take this cool picture).


Another one of those great “Blazing red hair in the direct sunlight” pictures that I love. The best thing about this one, though, is that it’s candid. So many of my favorite photos are the ones I take when Kasmira isn’t ready. I love catching those moments where she’s laughing or doing something silly, because that’s the Kasmira that I know and love. It doesn’t hurt, either, that this one was part of her Valentine’s Day series, and was the day dedicated to me. (I was pleasantly surprised to beat out the cats for first on the list).


There are a few pictures I’ve taken that I am really proud of. That I show other people without prompting, and this one is on that list. There’s just something about the colors, and the composition of it that makes me smile. It also makes me want to purchase a Buddy Scooter. What else can I say about it? It’s just a really cool picture.

This picture was featured in the New York Times (Online) when they were doing a thing about “Winter Shorts”, so that’s cool. I really like the colors, and how crystal sharp the snow looks (and I hate snow). It’s probably the most “professional” looking photo I’ve ever taken. But I don’t care about any of that… I chose this picture because of the experience we had taking it. Do you know how freaking cold it was that day? I mean… it was really, really cold. Take a close look at Kasmira’s nose. And her hands. That pinkish hue you see? Not blushing. That’s pure, frigid air blasting her in the face. This was easily the coldest shoot of the year. I admit that I wasn’t as cold as her, since I kept my coat on the whole time, but she seriously was walking around without a coat when it was 5 degrees outside. She’s dedicated folks.

Friday, December 30, 2011

On My Own

I was on my own, today, but I had Beefy’s wheels. I borrowed the car to pick up my holds at the library and made a detour to the Mt Airy treehouse for pictures.

Sweater, Mossimo. Scarf, gift. Pants, Rocks & Indigo. Boots, Matisse. Hat, Nine West. Earrings, Bag, Target. Jacket, H&M (thrifted).

Since I don’t have a car, I’m usually restricted to the house and yard for self-portraits. It’s kind of thrilling to load the camera, tripod, and remote into a vehicle and drive somewhere else.

Beefy and I have taken photos at the treehouse, before. However, the light inside is so dim, that a tripod is required. An afternoon on my own was the perfect opportunity to try some shots we weren’t able to capture in the past.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Soft Serve

Each winter, I become obsessed with pastels. I move through fall hues, holiday red and green, and on to pale pinks and blues. The pastel hues just seem right against muddy grass and gray skies.

Sweater, Takeout. Button-front shirt, Eddie Bauer (thrifted). Jeggings, Mossimo. Boots, Matisse. Bag, Charming Charlie. Earrings, Night Owl Crafts. Bag, Charming Charlie.

Still, winter-time pastels seem just a little bit wrong. Like ordering soft serve ice cream in below-freezing weather. But I like a little bit wrong, and a whole lot of right.

Photos by Beefy Muchacho